Undoubtedly, quite a few buyers who pick up the debut album by Wes Borland's Black Light Burns, Cruel Melody, will be expecting more of the aggro frat boy rap-metal of his previous band, Limp Bizkit. Too bad there's no way of seeing their expressions upon hearing this heavily Nine Inch Nails-influenced recording (which was produced by none other than a former NIN member, Danny Lohner). You have to give Borland credit for not taking the expected route -- which would be both a lucrative and easy way to do it. Sure, Borland's riffing brings back hints of his former employer here and there -- as exemplified on a track like "Coward." But whereas Fred Durst wouldn't think twice about diving headlong into the testosterone pool, Borland opts for a more unpredictable and quirky approach throughout, especially on the Queens of the Stone Age-ish album opener, "Mesopotamia," and such Pretty Hate Machine-esque tunes as "Animal" and "4 Walls." For many, Borland was the only Limp Bizkit member who was taken seriously. As evidenced by Cruel Melody, he is now officially allowed to follow whichever musical path he so desires.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato